Difference Between JDK and JRE

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Difference Between JDK and JRE: JDK and JRE are the core concepts in Java programming. We don’t use these notions when programming, but we must understand them if we want to become a Java developer. The main difference between JDK and JRE is that Java is a software platform, whereas JRE is a software package.

The term JDK stands for Java Development Kit. It is a collection of software components used to construct and compile Java-based applications, including JRE, compilers, and tools (such as JavaDoc and Java Debugger). However, JRE stands for Java Runtime Environment. It is a Java Virtual Machine implementation that actually executes Java programs. Further, we have discussed JDK, JRE, and the difference between JDK and JRE in the upcoming sections.

Difference Between JDK and JRE

If you are a Java programmer, you will require JDK, which is included in this package, but if you are a regular user who enjoys playing online games, you will only want JRE, and JDK is not included in this package. Further, we have provided the difference between JDK and JRE in the table below.

Key Difference Between JDK and JRE

Java programs are created using the JDK (Java Development Kit). It also includes a number of development tools, including compilers and debuggers.  JRE (Java Runtime Environment) is a Java virtual machine implementation that is specifically built to run Java programs.

It comes with the JRE and a collection of development tools, including a Java compiler, interpreter, applet viewer, and document viewer. The Java SE, Java EE, or Java ME platforms are used to implement the JDK.

The JRE is a component of the Java Development Kit (JDK) that includes a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), core classes, and various libraries for application development. The JRE is included in the JDK, although it can also be downloaded and used individually.

The JDK package comprises the JRE as well as command-line development tools such as compilers and debuggers that are required or beneficial when creating applets and applications.

JRE is the Java Virtual Machine, which is where your Java programs run. It also includes Applet execution browser plugins.

If you’re a developer, you’re responsible for both developing and executing programs. As a result, you’ll need a development and execution environment, which JDK provides.

If you’re a client, you probably don’t have to worry about development.
All you need is an environment to run the program and retrieve the results, which JRE provides.

JDK=JRE+Development Tools

JRE=JVM+Library Classes

What is JDK in Java?

Java Development Kit is abbreviated as JDK. The Java Development Kit (JDK) is a software development environment for creating Java programs and applets. It is physically present. It includes JRE as well as developer tools.

To finish the creation of a Java application, the JDK contains a private Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and a few other tools such as an interpreter/loader (java), a compiler (javac), an archiver (jar), a documentation generator (Javadoc), and so on.

What is JRE in Java?

The JRE stands for Java Runtime Environment. It is a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) implementation that is specifically designed to offer an environment in which Java programs can be executed. JRE like JDK is platform-dependent. JVM, Java binaries, and other classes are used to ensure that the program runs smoothly.

In JRE, there are no development tools included, such as a compiler or a debugger. Because no development or compilation of the code is necessary, we only need to install JRE and not JDK if we merely want to run a program.

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